Sidi Kaouki is a sleepy little village… perfect for those of you who are visiting Essaouira and looking for a quieter, more secluded bit of sand. One where you can find your own little spot, or surf break, with eateries and amenities close by if needed. Or maybe you’re just wanting an alternative to the main beach of Essaouira, and change of scenery.
From rock-pooling with the kids, surfing, horse riding or ATV guided tours, there is something in Sidi Kaouki for everyone. If you’re a day tripper from Essaouira, jump on a bus and come check it out. Or if you are an eco wander-luster and want to avoid the busy surf beaches of the south we can recommend a place or two to stay in Sidi Kaouki. So why not book a sustainable guest house for an off the beaten track, Moroccan retreat.
In this post, we share all the options of how to get from Essaouira to Sidi Kaouki, including a step by step guide to catching the bus. We also share some information about the shrine of Sidi Kaouki and it’s significance to the people of Morocco.
👍 Consider this post your handy all-in-one guide on Sidi Kaouki.
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What Makes Sidi Kaouki Special
Firstly, Sidi Kaouki takes its name from a 19th Century Muslim Saint.
At the northern end of the beach, is a big old white place that seems to be slowly deteriorating with age. This is actually the shrine of Sidi Kaouki and it’s a significant feature on the beach. Often Moroccan people come to Sidi Kaouki to stay in the shrine for a few nights, as a pilgrimage.
We visited in the middle of summer and the shrine was bursting at the seams with Moroccan families. They came and went, picnicking and enjoying the beach and sun. It wasn’t until speaking with a local from the region, that we understood more about Sidi Kaouki and the shrine.
Sidi Kaouki is also well known for it’s long stretch of endless sandy beach, surfing and horse riding tours. Upon some investigation, we also found some great eco-tourism places to stay… read below for more information on where to stay.
Where is Sidi Kaouki
Sidi Kaouki is only 25km south of Essaouira, making it the perfect day trip destination. However, as it lies on the southern side of Cap Sim and depending on the wind direction, it can also be more sheltered than Essaouira’s main beach.
The sandy beach stretches 2.5 – 3km south from the shrine at its northern end. This is also where the main village of Sidi Kaouki is located. Here you’ll find the main carpark, bus stop, several restaurants, a small goods store and two surf schools.
Where to Stay in Sidi Kaouki
There are many hostels, hotels, and guest houses in the area. And if you’re looking for a campground there is even somewhere to pitch a tent or park your van.
Just 5km from Sidi Kaouki is the Dav Mahal Eco Lodge, this would be our choice for accommodation if staying overnight. The views over the beautiful coastline are stunning and would be a dreamy destination for an off-the-beaten track, Moroccan vacay.
🤩 But also, how cute is this little eco property… the Mellow Beach House… take me back to Sidi Kaouki and Essaouira!!!
How to Get to Sidi Kaouki from Essaouira
Getting to Sidi Kaouki from Essaouira is easy and you have several options to choose from. These include, self-drive, Grand Taxi, bus or guided tour. For guided tours, read below in Things to Do in Sidi Kaouki.
If you’re driving, then it’s very straight forward, taking about 20 minutes. Head south out of Essaouira and past Diabat, bringing you onto the P2201 highway. Follow this road, taking a few right turns in between and you’ll find your way to Sidi Kaouki.
When you arrive, you’ll find a small car park where you can park for the day.
To get to Sidi Kaouki by taxi you’ll need to find a Grand Taxi. These can be found outside any of the three medina gates. However, the main taxi stand is outside Bab Marrakech and on your left as you exit the medina.
Ask around, haggle a little and you’ll easily find a taxi for a one way drop off, then do the same for your return. Or, some drivers may offer you a return cost, with the return time agreed between you. In terms of cost, the price will be up to you to finalise, but a one way trip will be in the vicinity of 100 dirhams.
You can also find a collective or shared taxi at a fraction of the price. Head to the Grand Taxi stand, ask for the nearest collective taxi to Sidi Kaouki and then wait until it’s full.
Taking the Bus to Sidi Kaouki
The other option to get from Essaouira to Sidi Kaouki is the bus. It’s reasonably easy to catch, it runs frequently enough and it’s cheap.
The bus stop in Essaouira, is just outside Bab Doukkala. The bus stop you’re looking for is on your right, as you exit Bab Doukkala, only 10 – 15 meters from the gate. It’s marked by a blue ‘Lima Bus, Essaouira‘ sign mounted on a white pole.
The bus that runs between Essaouira and Sidi Kaouki is the Lima bus, Line 2 and costs 7 dirhams per person. It runs numerous trips throughout the day. The bus timings from Essaouira are supposed to run at 6am, 7:45am, 9:30am, 11:15am, 12:45pm, 2:45pm, 4:30pm and 6:30pm. However, I share them here more as a guideline, as they don’t necessarily run to schedule.
Once the bus arrives at the stop in Essaouira, it may wait 10 – 15 minutes before departing. However, you are free to hop on, grab a seat and wait until the bus is ready to leave. A little warning, the bus can get rather busy, so best to get there earlier if you want a seat.
Before the bus leaves, a ticketer will come around to collect the fair and issue tickets. These you will need to keep as they are also checked and validated during the trip.
There are a couple of stops on the way to and from Sidi Kaouki, so the trip takes around an hour.
The bus stop in Sidi Kaouki is just opposite the main car park as you come into the village. Which is also where you’ll pick up the return bus. We recommend, you check the timings for the return bus with the bus driver.
Things to Do in Sidi Kaouki
Much like Essaouira’s beaches, there are numerous things that you can do at Sidi Kaouki, depending on your hobbies and budget. Below we share a few ideas!
Guided Tours to Sidi Kaouki
There are some really good guided tours that feature Sidi Kaouki and Cap Sim. Browse through this list below for something a little unique and extraordinary to add to your Morocco travel itinerary.
Enjoy Some Beach Time
As mentioned the beach is around 3km long, with the village and other facilities only occupying the first quarter of it. This leaves the other three quarters untouched. Thereby giving you plenty of room to roam and find your own quiet little spot to stay for the day.
You can also rent umbrellas and beach chairs for a small fee.
Surfing & Sports
Sidi Kaouki has various breaks depending on the swell, tide and wind, which changes throughout the day. In which case, if board sports are your thing then Sidi Kaouki has you covered. It’s a great place for surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing or paddle boarding, depending on the conditions.
For the beginners looking to take a lesson or two, there are a couple of surf schools available. You can also just hire the gear if you already know what you’re doing. Prices range from 50 dirhams for a one hour rental and 150 dirhams for a one hour surf lesson.
In the main area you can find two surf shops, Ocean Vibes and Surf Twins. These both operate a walk-in service, but if you want to contact them ahead of your visit you can find Surf Twins here.
Read our review of learning to surf in Essaouira with Mogasurf. We took surf lessons for a full month and we explain it all in this dedicated post.
If you have kids, or are the kind of beachgoer who can’t sit still, then go rock-pooling. At the northern end of the beach in the shadow of the shrine, you will find some great rock pools to explore. Here there are numerous pools, with plenty of nooks and crannies to discover.
Our kids enjoyed finding crabs and nudibranchs (it’s a type of sea slug). However, as with all outdoor encounters, we encourage a look but don’t touch approach.
Horse and Camel Rides
For those who like the thought of riding horses or camels along an open beach, then Sidi Kaouki is an amazing spot to do it. From the long stretches of beach, that can stretch over 500 meters in width at low tide, and the dunes and forest areas make for an excellent horse riding experience.
You will find men standing on the beach offering horse and camel rides, though we would recommend you book with a reputable and trusted stable. Contact Mogador Ranch, a local horse stables based in Sidi Kaouki, to enquire further about prices and bookings.
Read our horse riding review from Essaouira and find out more about the history of horse riding in this region of Morocco.
ATVs and 4×4 Motor Bikes
If you prefer a fast paced adventure on wheels then you’ll enjoy riding an ATV on Sidi Kaouki beach. The full day ATV tours from Essaouira that are listed above in the Guided Tours section are the FULL day experience! In which case, they are also a little pricey.
For something a little less extreme, contact Residence Kaouki Beach via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (+212 6 61 06 85 26) to arrange a quad biking tour. They advertise tours on their website starting at 390 dirhams per person.
Grab a Bite to Eat
There are several restaurants in Sidi Kaouki to chose from. Most of these are found around the main carpark area. However, if you’re staying more than one day, there are a couple further into the village that you may wish to check out. Most are fairly simple, with a selection of local dishes, but seem to specialise in great local seafood.
More on Morocco
Sidi Kaouki is definitely one of Morocco’s top beaches and has a lot to offer. We recommend a visit if you’re the type of traveller who’s in search of long stretches of sand. Also, if it’s getting busy in Essaouira over summer, then a trip to Sidi Kaouki should be on the cards.
So, if you’re just looking for a day trip from Essaouira, or somewhere to chill for a week while learning how to kite surf or surf, then Sidi Kaouki is a well recommended option!
Find more of our guides to Essaouira below –
- How to Visit Ida Ougourd Market from Essaouira
- Best Roof Top Bars in Essaouira
- Best Restaurants and Street Food Places to Eat at in Essaouira
- 16 Awesome Things to Do in Essaouira
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